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Cal guard’s 8 treys rain on Cats’ NCAA hopes

Citizen Staff Writer



California guard Jerome Randle got a little pep talk from his mother before Thursday’s game against Arizona.

It worked.

The Golden Bears junior went crazy from beyond the 3-point line, making 8 of his 11 attempts and scored 31 points during an 83-77 victory over the Wildcats.

“My road games in the Pac-10 have been horrible. I have not really played well,” Randle said. “I talked to my mom and she said don’t think about it, just go out and play ball.

“I talked to her before the game. I just felt I was at home and silenced the crowd and just played basketball. It worked, thanks to my mom.”

Randle made 6 of 7 threes in the second half en route to a career-high 31 points. Several of the threes were several feet beyond the line.

His desperation 25-foot trey with the shot clock running out with 1:56 left, and the Bears ahead by two, proved to be the biggest. It swished through the nets for a 71-66 Cal lead.

“I know I’m going to shoot the ball. I want the ball in my hands,” Randle said. “I’m just going to try to make the plays. I shot it. It felt good.”

The Wildcats would have been better off letting the speedy guard drive more, and shoot less threes.

Randle was 1 for 7 from inside 3-point territory. There was no reason to shoot closer to the rim.

“I think they stayed in the zone because their man (defense) is not that good,” Randle said.

“If they switched to man, we would probably have gotten better shots. The match-up was going our way.”

Even California coach Mike Montgomery seemed surprised Randle had as many good shots as he did.

“Jerome was just on fire,” Montgomery said. “He got some good looks. He doesn’t normally get that many.”

Arizona was hoping to get hot, pull off a victory and get closer to making the NCAA Tournament.

California, instead, is the one breathing a sigh of relief with at least a No. 3 seed in the Pac-10 tournament and a likely spot in the NCAA’s March Madness with a 22-8 overall record, and 11-6 mark in league play.

The Bears’ win came in McKale Center, where Cal had not won since 1995.

“I guess we go down in history now,” Randle said.

Cal guard’s 8 treys rain on Cats’ NCAA hopes

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